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Letter to the editor
A lot of smoke in elections office
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Forsyth County News
I read with interest Mr. Dickersons letter last week expressing hostility toward Brant Meadows. He was quick to selectively point out so-called conflicts of interest including Brant working as a real estate agent (a buyers only agent with a business license in the city of Roswell, not Forsyth County by the way) and serving on the Planning Commission.

He omitted, however, such valid conflicts as sitting county commissioner Brian Tam operating a restaurant under a very generous lease with the city of Cumming while voting on issues regarding city and county business. He omitted the numerous land barons that have sat on the Planning Commission while voting on rezonings favorable to the marketability of their own land.

Perhaps Mr. Dickerson was unaware that the Elections Board is made up of a chairman (Gary Smith) appointed by the Superior Court judge and a representative from both parties, appointed by each party respectively (Mr. Meadows and Ms. Janice Thomas). Mr. Meadows has served in that capacity under five separate GOP chairmen and has obviously earned their trust.

Personally, I find Mr. Meadows and Ms. Thomas actions refreshing. Once they discovered that the Board of Elections was not operating as the law prescribed (which was verified by county attorney Ken Jarrad), they took corrective action.

If Mr. Meadows, Ms. Thomas, Dale Russell of Fox 5, two independent auditors, all of our commissioners, a new investigator in the Secretary of States office, and possibly the Department of Justice find Mr. Smiths actions worth looking into, I think the rest of us have cause for concern. Thats an awful lot of smoke. At least Mr. Meadows and Ms. Thomas have been willing to bear the personal character attacks while performing the thankless job of ensuring that our most fundamental right is free from illegal activity.

The most popular defense of Gary Smith has been the execution of well-run elections. Indeed, most Chicagoans would applaud Richard Daley’s performance as mayor, but that doesn’t mean he operates the infamous Chicago political machine within the constraints of the law.

Chris Goldston